However, the Mexican attacker got a bad surprise if he was expecting a compliant victim. Tracy Mann, 21, became suspicious when she saw a truck with the door open and no one around. She opened up the pocketknife she always carries ("because you just never know") and was ready when a man accosted her and tried to steal her purse.
Mann fought back with the knife. "He was just tugging me and the purse, and I just started slashing at him," she said.
She said she didn't stop slashing until the man let her go and ran away. Mann followed him up an embankment of rocks to a waiting truck so she could write down the license plate number.
Mesa police found the truck a short time later in Mesa and arrested Filemon Del Hoyo, 18, Abel Lorenzo Reyes, 18, and Isidro Mendoza, 22, all of Mesa. [Woman with knife fends off attacker, Arizona Daily Star 9/22/07]
The man who tried to snatch Tracy's purse had been recently arrested for burglary and deported, but he returned to this country to resume his criminal ways. What's up with that—is burglary no longer considered a serious crime? The attacker, Filemon Del Hoyo, should have been kept in jail for trial instead of being released to Mexico.
This story could have had a tragic ending rather than a happy one because of a foreign criminal being freed from jail. Tracy Mann said she "felt like he was after more than my purse," and hopes that attempted kidnapping will be added to Del Hoyo's list of crimes. If she had not fought back against her Mexican attacker, she might have become another statistic among the Americans injured or killed by illegal aliens.